Last month Claire and I were in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state. If we had not looked it up beforehand we would have assumed that Mount Rainier was named such because it seemed like this place had a lot more rain than most places we have been! We knew going there that the mountain was, as one guide book said, “ephemeral;” it did seem to appear and disappear almost on a whim! We went in the autumn when there are supposed to be fewer rainy and cloudy days. Yet as we watched the weather reports, it was becoming evident that the times that the mountain would be “out,” as the locals like to say, were going to be limited.
It’s October now and in 2 months, we will be celebrating Advent. It will be the time of year when children are certain that time slooooows down to a crawl as they wait for Christmas. But I think the wait and expectation makes it all the sweeter. We think about it, anticipate it and make plans around it. And when it arrives, it arrives with such power and splendor that it’s always a beautiful thing.
I’ve often wondered why God waited so long to send his Son, Jesus, as the Messiah. From the fall of Adam to the coming of Jesus was thousands of years. Certainly God could have immediately saved Adam and Eve from the mess they created – but he didn’t. He chose to wait until the time had fully come so that the people would appreciate it all the more. As those people in the Old Testament waited, they longed for it eagerly. When Jesus came and they finally recognized what God had done, it was magnificent and amazing!
I know it’s only October and some of us complain that the Christmas “season” comes earlier every year with the trees and decorations and the like. Yet I want us to start thinking about Advent and Christmas already now. Think about it, ponder on it and please don’t be indifferent toward it and take it for granted. In our modern view, God took his time to fix the problem, but in taking his time, we can appreciate even more the vastness of the problem we were in and the amazing sweetness of our salvation. And as you think about this, consider Jesus’ second coming as well. It seems like it is taking a long time, but when Jesus comes again it will be so sweet because we have had to wait for the fulfillment.